31/08/2004

Parents advised to belt up for return to school

In a warning to coincide with the start of the new school year, parents have been advised to keep their children safe and to use seatbelts.

Environment Minister Angela Smith advised parents to Belt Up as kids are three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured if they are not wearing a seatbelt.

“If you have a collision, anyone travelling in the vehicle is more than twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured if not wearing a seatbelt," the Minister said.

"But this figure rises to three times when we look specifically at children casualties. Unbelievably, 22% of children aged between 5 and 13 years and 12% of children aged between one and four years still travel unrestrained in the back of a car."

In 2003, PSNI statistics revealed that 8% of casualties in crashes who were wearing seatbelts were killed or seriously injured compared with 21% of casualties who were not wearing seatbelts.

“As parents you must do everything in your power to ensure the safety of your children. Take a few seconds, that is all it takes, to make sure everyone in the car, back and front, is properly belted up. In the event of a collision, a seatbelt may save your child’s life," the Minister added.

(MB)

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